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Automatic transmission JERK

Hi everyone,

First off I really don’t own a Civic. I live in Jakarta (Indonesia) and I own something called a Honda City which is basically a small four door Civic. It has an automatic transmission and has about 70,000 km on it. Now that I’ve gotten that admission off my chest I can pray for absolution for my deception and ask my question.

The past few mornings when I start up my car and start accelerating down the road I’ve noticed that the car occasionally jerks into gear as if someone who didn’t know how to operate a manual made a poor shift. It isn’t terribly violent but its enough so that my wife thinks I’m a poor driver and I get THE STARE. Its been happening infrequently for about 3 weeks now and I haven’t taken it to the mechanic because unless it happens right when they’re watching they just won’t believe you.

I’m really hoping this is a fluid issue or something simple. If my transmission is on the way out I’m gonna cry cause we just bought this car a few months ago. So, here’s to some good news (fingers crossed) and thanks for your help.



Start with a transmission fluid and filter change

1st, I’m going to presume that all the things I know about US Honda’s apply to all Honda’s around the world, but I think that’s a safe presumption. I would change the trans fluid 1st, making sure to use Honda Factory fluid, nothing else. Maybe even 2 times, since you only replace 1/2 of it doing a drain and fill. Using Honda brand fluid is important. Do you know maintenance history? Most techs here should agree that Honda ATF should be changed every 30,000 miles, so you should be close to the 2nd time. I’d check mounts next, although that is very low mileage for a Civic to break them.

Yep totally agree with @Conoso Hondas should be changed every 30,000 miles which is what, about 35K kilometers. And only Honda fluid. Its real easy since there is just a drain plug underneath and no filter to worry about. After that, you may have to have them check for any stored fault codes.

@Bing I’m familiar with the City, and 30,000 miles translates to roughly 50,000 kilometers. Most Honda automatics don’t have filter that you can change, but changing the fluid several times will go a long way.

Labor is cheap in Indonesia, but you have to make sure the shop has the fluid, and the work is properly done. I lived in Malaysia, next door, and usually went to the dealer for service.

I agree with all who recommend a transmission fluid change. I would just like to say that “back in the day” many of my friends and I would install automatic transmission shift kits to get that “jerky” shift. It was actually a harder shift when racing and was considered a good thing at the time.

Thanks everyone. I’ll take it into a Honda authorized service center and get it changed with the proper Honda transmission fluid. I really hope that is the end of it. Didn’t actually Jerk into gear this morning so it is infrequent. However, a stitch in time and all that… thanks again for the advice.



I agree with Docnick. Changing fluids overall is A LOT cheaper than replace the components (ei: transmission). I flush out PS/Brake/Trans fluid every other year or 30K miles(50Km) whichever comes first.

Did u pay a fair price for car? Why not sell it and buy another car that is trouble free? All used cars are trouble free.